Let’s face it – some relationships just don’t work out, even when you’re paying big bucks to have that “special someone” come into your home, tear apart your walls and redo your bathroom, kitchen or bedrooms.
That’s right folks – when your remodeling contractor doesn’t live up to your expectations, it’s time to cut those ties, get your keys back and move on.
Unfortunately, many homeowners wait too long to release dodgy, incompetent or otherwise unsatisfactory contractors, leading to a lot of grief and financial heartache. Don’t make the same mistake – here are 10 “red flags” that let you know it’s time to fire your remodeling contractor:
- Your contractor spends a lot of time watching HGTV do-it-yourself shows and how-to videos on YouTube.
- Your contractor keeps odd hours – he/she seems to always show up when you’re not home, leaving as soon as you return. Mornings seem to be a mystery too – you’ve never seen your contractor before noon, ever.
- Your contractor demands to be paid in cash, up front. Enough said.
- There are subcontractors involved, and they are all asking you when they’re getting paid.
- Your contractor is always asking to borrow tools – from you.
- Things in your house have been mysteriously “broken,” “lost” or are just plain missing.
- Your contractor refused to sign a contract, mumbling something about not wanting any “paper trails.”
- There are things on the jobsite that downright scare you – live electrical wires are hanging loose, there are large open holes in your floors and you’ve found liquor bottles in the trash.
- Your contractor won’t let you purchase any materials or fixtures, insisting that he will only work with you if he does all the shopping.
- Your contractor is AWOL, and trying to get an answer about when he’ll be back is like trying to nail jell-o to a wall.
In some cases, you might be able to avoid canning your remodeling contractor if they are willing to sit down and work things out. There could be perfectly reasonable explanations for their apparent shortcomings. Perhaps they’ve had an illness in the family, or they’ve overstepped their skills and abilities in accepting your job.
On the other hand, if your spidey-senses are all saying “NO!” then it’s important to listen to your instincts and cut your losses. In the case of large jobs, withheld deposits and damaged property, you might want to contact your state consumer affairs bureau or a lawyer who specializes in consumer law. Remember that it’s your hard-earned money at stake here, and that sub-standard renovations are more than just frustrating, they can be downright dangerous for you and your family.